Belarus takes interest in stepping up with NATO

Belarus takes interest in stepping up contacts with NATO, the republic's Vice-Premier and Foreign Minister Mikhail Khvostov said Monday as meeting with a delegation of NATO's Parliamentary Assembly. Cooperation with the North Atlantic alliance is part and parcel of national interests of Belarus and global security as a whole, according to the minister. He said Belarus is particularly interested in developing partnership with NATO within the framework of the Partnership For Peace programme. Belarus has respect for the countries seeking NATO membership, the foreign minister emphasized. Belarussian leaders, by no means, want their republic's borders with NATO countries to be a "line of opposition", RIA Novosti reports. The Belarussian foreign minister voiced concerns over the fact that the countries formerly lacking nuclear arms are building up their nuclear arsenals. Belarus would like Central and East Europe to be a territory free of nuclear arms.

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